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College of BusinessCommerce News

May 23, 2002 -- News Brief

Kimberly Clark and IDM Join Forces In Scholarship Case Competition

Ten teams of undergraduate marketing, finance, accounting, and Industrial Distribution Management students analyzed a real-life seasonal inventory and logistics challenge as part of the 2002 Case Competition held at the University of Illinois in April. The inventory and logistics challenge was encountered by Kimberly-Clark, one of the sponsors of the competition.

"Now we know that we're ready to go out and actually do it!"

Competing teams presented their recommendations to a panel of judges from the Department of Business Administration in the College of Commerce and Business Administration and managers at Kimberly-Clark. In addition to a highly applied learning environment and opportunity to make contacts with industry representatives, the case competition carried a scholarship award. A total of $12,000 in scholarship prizes were awarded to the team members that placed first, second, third, and fourth.

The Kimberly-Clark Scholarship Case Competition winners were announced on April 19, 2002 at an award luncheon held on campus:

  1. Vikas Metha, Parag Thakkar, Andy MacArthur
  2. Angela Park, Angela Lim, Christine Wai
  3. Sarah Chapman, Smita Kumar, Ross Sutherlin
  4. Joy Oakland, Josh Harford, Zach Elliott

Both students and judges were enthusiastic about the competition. The students were pleased with the opportunity to analyze an actual and timely business problem, develop a strategy, and get immediate feedback on their managerial prowess. An additional advantage was that the feedback was provided by the Kimberly-Clark managers who worked on this business problem. As a representative of one of the winning teams noted, "This was a great opportunity to work on a real-world problem, push ourselves to find the best possible strategy and then to communicate it to the actual decision-makers at Kimberly-Clark and get feedback on our thinking. Now we know that we're ready to go out and actually do it!"

The panel of judges praised the advanced business skills the students exhibited. Talks to plan the next scholarship case competition are under way. IDM Director William Qualls noted that the competition is "an excellent way to showcase the talents of our students to industry. By sponsoring this event, Kimberly-Clark has recognized the superior quality of our graduates."

The IDM program is one of eight concentrations in the Department of Business Administration. The program's mission is to develop students who will become leaders capable of handling the complexities and challenges of an industrial-oriented business environment in the next millennium.

Kimberly-Clark (KC) is a $14.5 billion dollar global consumer-products company whose products include Kleenex®, Huggies®, Pull-Ups®, Kotex®, Scott®, and Depend®, are used everyday by people in over 150 countries. KC is the nation's second largest personal and household care products company and an industry leader in core technologies, fibers, non-wovens, and absorbency. The case competition is one of many initiatives KC has at the University of Illinois.


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